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Avetts serve up tasty leftovers on 'Magpie'

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'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Friday, Oct. 18, 2013, 6:34 p.m.
 

‘Magpie and the Dandelion'

The Avett Brothers (American)

★★★★

I've spent the better part of a decade singing the praises of North Carolina folk/rock outfit the Avett Brothers to anyone who'll listen. Their 2007 masterpiece “Emotionalism” remains in constant rotation on my iPod, and the Avetts served up my favorite records of 2009 (“I and Love and You”) and 2012 (“The Carpenter”). So imagine my delight when it was revealed that the band wrote and recorded another album's worth of songs during “The Carpenter” sessions with super-producer Rick Rubin. “Magpie and the Dandelion” is another fantastic effort, though maybe a half-step behind the three records that preceded it, and should please the band's ever-growing fan base.

The 11-track release finds the Brothers mining familiar musical turf, which is just fine by me. Siblings/songwriters/multi-instrumentalists Scott and Seth Avett harmonize and trade vocals, while pal Bob Crawford holds down the fort on bass. “Open Ended Life” gets “Magpie” off to a winning start, and the Avett Brothers score with “Morning Song,” “Another Is Waiting,” “Bring Your Love to Me,” “Skin and Bones” and “The Clearness Is Gone.” A band that sets the bar impossibly high each and every time out, the Avetts have done it again.

Jeffrey Sisk is an editor for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-664-9161 ext. 1952, or jsisk@tribweb.com.

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